Saturday, September 17, 2011

Create Stealth Closings

Many caterers close off certain dates with the intention of giving staff a breather—and simultaneously cutting back on other costs. IN other words, prop sects are told that the date they are seeking is closed. A few days, very often a Friday or Monday, plus a weekend, are declared a “stealth” or invisible closing. No bookings for those dates are taken. Everyone in the company knows that a mini-break is on the books to increase the staff’s quality of life. This time can also used for outside contractors to come into the facility to deep clean or do other maintenance, repair or upkeep.
Remember: there are variable costs accumulating whenever your company is open. Everything from cost of staff consumables while at work to lights and phone calls. Every little bit of savings helps.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thoughts On "Unwise" Sales

Note: What I''m about to write about has always been a "touchy" subject for my audiences. So, just take it for what it is and don't read too much into it. It does not represents a problem that ALL caterers have. That being said, this topic is central in creating proper profit in a catering business.

Unwise sale? How can any sale be unwise? Sometimes it’s important to keep my staff working? We’re here anyway... so why not take the smaller orders?

No sale is unwise if you want to take it. After all it is your business and you have the right to do with it what you want. The question is why you’re taking a particular order. So, once again I ask the question...What is an unwise sale?

An unwise sale is one that causes you loss of profit or lessens the quality of your life. An interesting answer... don’t you think? How can a sale lose profit? Simple... it is either not priced correctly, or it is too small, or it’s the wrong order for the flow of a particular catering day.

An unwise sale is created when the price is incorrect and/or the number of guests are too few.To put this another way, the problem rests with the price being too low and the number of guests also being too few. A $7.00 box lunch for 9 guests is probably an unwise sale. However, the same $7.00 box lunch for 45 guests is a better sale.

On the other hand, a $1.22 per person charge for a day care meal for 100 is probably unwise even if it is a seven day a week order. However, a $1.22 for 800 per day is a great sale. A caterer’s quality of life is also affected by the unwise sale. Imagine coming in on a Sunday for an order that generated only $63. You need to understand that we’re taking a “catering” view in this education. Other forms of foodservice, like restaurants, might find it well to take any order that comes along. Catering, however, is different.

Many have learned that a great day can become a bad day simply by taking that one order that turns out to be the “order from hell”! So, it is important to have some kind of policy as to which are unwise orders.

Another reason a sale becomes unwise deals with the product line mix on a particular day. When a caterer has three weddings leaving their kitchen on a busy Saturday, it is unwise to also have a drop-off cold buffet for 25 on the same day. The Saturday cold buffet, on a busy full-service day, will create real, or false, problems for the culinary and delivery staff. When all attention should be focused on the importance of high volume orders, the kitchen staff is taking time to create the smaller cold buffet. By the way, the host that gets the drop off cold buffet will probably call you back to tell you to bring over some additional mustard because they don’t think they have enough!

For those caterers who still say “An order is an order” or “A sale is a sale” or “A dollar is a dollar” I can only say... that is not necessarily true.

Just give me your email in the field directly under my photo on the right. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Research That You Need To Know About

Check these stories out - very important info for caterers!

Just give me your email in the field directly under my photo on the right. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Unique 911 Story From Tasty Catering

The email below was sent from Rich Henquinet, the Human Resources Manager of Tasty Catering in Chicago, to Larry Walters, one of the principles of Tasty Catering. I asked for permission to publish this since it is such a learning experience in many obvious ways and some deep thinking ways.

Rich Henquinet
Rich delivered the catering order mentioned in his email on September 11 to a group of Marines - here is the email sent by Rich:

While delivering the US Marines order of hot food for 140 yesterday, I opened the first of three pans of mashed potatoes. I was struck by what I saw - the US Flag! I stopped...and swallowed goose bumps engulfed my body. I opened the two other pans and they were decorated as well. I could not believe my eyes...and immediately started to try to guess who did this. What an awesome act of Patriotism on Patriot Day*. Two Marines wandered in and asked what was for lunch and I told them "chicken" as I removed the mashed potatoes lid to show them the flag. They both paused and acknowledged the thoughtfulness of the decoration. They mentioned it to a few Marines standing about 40 feet away who then walked over and asked to see it. They too acknowledged the decoration...and very much appreciated it. After the presentation was set up the Sergeant in charge came in to sign the delivery ticket. I showed it to him. He paused as he admired it....and looked me straight in the eyes and thanked me for the decoration. I told him I'd pass his "Thank you" on to the chef who decorated it. This act of kindness WOW'ed the Marines on this truly special day. I felt 10 feet tall as I left the building.  The photo, taken with my cell phone, is not the best of quality. Larry, please pass on my most sincere regards to the chef responsible for this. He or she made us look incredibly good. This is another example of why Tasty Catering is the leader in corporate catering.

Here is the photo Rich took with his cell phone of the mashed potatoes:

Not a great photo, but you can see the FLAG!

Here is the Tasty Catering Chef Ricardo Gervacio, Hot Food Prep Line manager, who took it upon himself to do the American Flag for the Marines.
Chef Richie Gervacio
Great Work Richie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Discussion Topic For Your Next Sales Meeting #5

Below is a very advanced selling script that should be discussed before adopting for use in your company. It is bold to say the very least. I actually heard this script used by a power caterer in Washington, DC. I was amazed on how much it endeared the shopper to the salesperson. I believe that the shopper was just as surprised as I was when the salesperson used it. In essence, the salesperson was saying to the shopper that the most important thing was for the shopper to have a "successful" catered event which was more important than just making a sale. Please discuss this with each other.

“Mr. & Mrs, Jones, if after you think about it for a while, and you decide to use another caterer than us, don’t hesitate to call us for an opinion on what the other caterer is offering. Also, if you like one of our menu items, and the other caterer doesn’t have the recipe, please have them call me and I’ll gladly give it to them. I just want your party to be the best it can be!”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Actions For Successful Sales!

1. Be a giver... not a taker!
2. Be able to laugh at yourself.
3. Make buyers feel comfortable.
4. Continually search for new business.
5. Remain positive and optimistic.
6. Have total confidence in yourself.
7. Always stay on the buyer’s side.
8. Practice your presentation skills.
9. Develop mentors to learn from.
10. Be a team player.

Just give me your email in the field directly under my photo on the right. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.